Misadventures Of An Average Mom

Because Average is the New Awesome!

Sea World and such

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post for a brief message from our sponsors… TUCSON SUCKS!

I’m sorry for anyone from the southwest that actually enjoys breathing fire air but NOPE! I just cannot handle it. Part of the problem is clearly that we are in a place I have never been and is completely foreign, but also it is just SO… you know.. DESERT. Okay, more on that later….

Sea World on Friday was fun but also kind of a disappointment. When Paco and I went to Sea World in Florida for our honeymoon (9 years ag0) I remember it being a lot more…. well… more. I feel like Sea World here was more focused on rides than it was the animals. This is both good and bad because I do have some borderline mixed feelings about the whole large animals in captivity thing. I mean if we are rescuing them, yay! If we are capturing them for entertainment, boo. I don’t know which one it is so I will remain mostly neutral. I digress…. it just seemed like they didn’t have as many exhibits to look at. The penguins were definitely smaller scale and didn’t have a lot of ‘oooh and aahhh’ factor. The Shamu show was mostly them splashing water on people. Again, I understand there have been a lot of accidents as of late so for the trainers sake it just isn’t smart to do big fancy shows, but it was still a bit of a bummer.

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All in all the day was still a success. The kids had fun. Tempers only flared a few times because it was hot and they were tired but we were there all day. We did the all day dining passes. I still haven’t decided if this was a good thing. It cost us $80 total for food for the 4 of us for the whole day because we got the wrist bands that allowed us to eat unlimited amounts at select restaurants. The problem is the lines. They were all excruciatingly long and we couldn’t bypass any line if we just wanted a water or something. DUMB! My recommendation would definitely be to have separate lines for people with the wrist bands. We got to see Elmo and Grover which was cool and kind of a weird surprise. I hadn’t done a ton of research into sea world before we went so I didn’t know they had a Sesame Street section. This was also a bummer by the way. Sesame street… let’s think about this. It peaks in popularly with say, 5 year olds? The minimum height requirements for any of their rides was 42″. Lilly BARELY makes this cutoff by being 44″ tall. And most of the rides were 48″ requirements. SO dumb. Again, not the reason or going so we will stick to the positives and just say they enjoyed the shows and the animals and ta da, day was a success.

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Saturday we went to the USS Midway museum. Paco was our own personal tour guide since he spent the 6 days on the Tiger Cruise aircraft carrier with his brother last winter. It was pretty cool to get a glimpse of what my brother-in-law had to live with for 9 months while he was deployed. I could NEVER be on a boat with tiny hallways and no windows for more than a few hours, let alone months. It makes you appreciate our military and all they do.

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Sunday I had the brilliant idea to go to the Del Mar horsetrack family fun day. Free Webkinz horse, games, horse rides… sounds like a blast, right? Oh my gosh BUSY. Busy and confusing. Nothing was labeled or advertised well so it took us longer to get there than we figured. Then parking was insane. Then we had to walk FOREVER to get to the place. Then once inside there was an hour long wait for a pony ride and the games werent going to start until after the second race because, oh yes, there were tons of races actually going on also. That was cool just because we had never been to a horse race before. We got to be in the infield for it too so I was maybe 50 feet away from the horses when the did a race. The kids were kind of bummed for the whole thing but still took it in stride and at least enjoyed the race and their new horse. (BUT  the stupid housekeeping people here in Tucson threw the tags away- good thing they were free).

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I feel very negative today with this post. Last weekend was fun. We are still enjoying ourselves and trying to fit in as much awesome and different stuff as we can while we are away but it is starting to wear on me. Two kids in an unfamiliar place where they get me more of the time than usual is just getting to be a lot to handle. I look forward to being home and getting settled before school starts.

 

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Playing catch up!

I swear I am absolutely never going to catch up on posts. So I suppose I will try (ha!) to do some kind of abbreviated one. No super huge details, just recaps…

So, the Thursday before Disneyland we all went to the Safari Park which was the last post. That same weekend we came back from Disneyland then we checked a few other things off my ‘must see’ list. Originally we were going to go to LA and see Hollywood Blvd. but traffic proved that would just be stupid. As it was it took us 3 hours to get home when it is a 1.5 hour drive normally. ick.

First we went to Point Loma to see the old lighthouse and a fun view of the bay. That was pretty cool and the kids really enjoyed walking around. Well, Lilly enjoyed it. I didn’t trust that Edison wouldn’t fall off a cliff into the ocean so I carried him on my back in the toddler Kinderpack we borrowed from a friend here. After Point Loma we went to Coronado beach since we were already in that area. We wanted to walk around and see the Coronado hotel, which is one of those really pretty sights apparently. It was so fun because as it was a Saturday we saw no less than 3 beach weddings! We had to stop and wait on the sidewalk for the processional of one to go on. Lilly LOVED that.

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During the week we made our typical trip to the zoo but I didn’t bother taking the camera this time. We met friends at the beach one of the days and just tried to have a low key day one of those.. but still went to the pool, obviously. Oh yes, we also had another ‘kicking and screaming’ exit from the library so I am happy that since we leave on Aug. 1 and we DID bring books from home, we are don’t with the library trips. Edison is just too active to sit still in a library. Yet, he loves for me to read to him over and over AND OVER again.

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Thursday we picked Paco up from work a little bit early and met a friend I met online but had not yet met in person because she lives here AND takes photos! Now, funny story… we have one professional family photo and it was taken when Lilly was one year old. That is right, NONE with Edison. I decided that a beach/ ocean setting would be an awesome backdrop and my friend is super talented so it was all the perfect scenario. We took those at La Jolla Cove which just happened to be another one of my checklist items since they have the sea lions that beach there. The kids loved looking at them so close in the wild but getting to them was a trick. Lilly started walking towards one part of the rocks and I about had a panic attack because I looked down and there was a crack in them that she easily could have slipped through and been lost to oblivion. I decided we had enough sea lions and left to safer ground.

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We finished our pictures and then rushed back over to La Jolla shores so I could get some pictures of the pier since that was something I desperately wanted to do. I had to literally race against the sun to get the pictures because it was setting and the pier was REALLY far away. SO worth it! I got a great workout AND I love the pictures I got. I will probably get one enlarged and framed. That is if I ever pick a theme for my home decor and follow through…

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Friday we went to Sea World, Saturday we went to the USS Midway and Sunday we went to the Del Mar Horsetrack Family Fun Day then drove out to Tucson for the week (we’re still here) because Paco had to travel for work. I will do a separate post on all of those sometime soon.

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San Diego Safari Park

After taking a week to post about Disneyland I need at least a day to sit and remember what all I did this week! I am so exhausted from the past month I can’t even begin to process it let alone explain it. I also need to get a ton of pictures off my memory cards from the week. I usually take quite a few pictures but this whole San Diego trip has probably led me to set a new record!

Before I started my Disney posts I mentioned that as a family we went over to the zoo safari park since it is included in the zoo membership passes. Well, walking around on your own is included. If we wanted to do the really cool ride on the tram or the bus or whatever that goes right up next to the animals in the safari is a huge amount of money. The safari was okay. It wasn’t quite as impressive as I thought it would be. It was laid out kind of weirdly so walking from one set of animals to the next got us all turned around. It was also pretty hot when we went so Lilly was getting tired pretty easily. All in all we decided that one day was enough for the Safari park.

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We did get to see the tigers which was pretty cool. They have 4 of them right now because there are two cubs. They were mostly uncooperative but there was one that sat nicely for me to get some good shots. In another area one of the tigers was posing perfectly down by the glass. There was a line so I jinxed Lilly and I by saying that the second we got up next to the tiger it would run away. Sure enough we got to the point where there was one person in front of us, we were next, and the tiger go up and left. Honestly, so annoying.

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That was kind of about it. I really do think the zoo is better and more worthwhile to visit. Maybe if we had a ton of extra money laying around we could do all of the extra rides to really get the best tour, but I’m not willing to pay it right now so I guess that is where we sit!

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I will update on all the rest of the things we did this last week, once I remember, some other time since I have so much catching up to do! It shouldn’t be as long a post or anything because we did a lot of the same stuff that we have already done so it is kind of same old same old but still a ton of fun!

 

 

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DISNEYLAND: part 5- The Happiest Place on Earth!

Honestly, I have to apologize to anyone who actually takes the time to read this. I have done most of these Disney posts way too late at night after exhausting days so I fear their quality has deteriorated a bit. It’s also already been a solid week since we went so now my thoughts are getting foggy on every little detail that happened. This is exactly why I need to write things down!

After a busy day and trying to meet characters and princesses while still managing to ride at least a few of the attractions we decided it was time to just plop down in a good spot while a decent one was still to be had and watch the fireworks. With the exception of a couple of trees we had a really great spot just outside and to the right of the castle (if looking at it). My poor Edison. He managed to stay awake the ENTIRE day… that is until about 3 minutes before the fireworks started. The kid passed out and managed to sleep through the entire show. He was wiped out. Hopefully I can take that as a sign that he thoroughly enjoyed his day.

The show started and Lilly was so thrilled. I was watching half through a camera lens, but I have gotten pretty used to doing this in my life anyway so I don’t really feel I missed out on anything. Besides, Paco was using the video camera so we can go relive the whole thing anytime we want! I love fireworks so much and always have. I forgot how great the Disney fireworks show is. I actually got a little choked up at a coupe of parts. I think some of that comes from watching it through my child’s eyes as she was in such awe and I will admit it hit a little close when they started playing Dumbo’s “Baby Mine” and then had him fly across the sky because that is one of the two songs I used to sing to my kids when they were babies and I was rocking them to sleep at night both in the NICU and continued at home. When it was over the ladies in front of me said that I just should have seen the expressions Lilly was making throughout the whole show because she was so taken by them.

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We packed up and headed for the gate but got stuck on the way out by one of the balloon vendors. Lilly had wanted one at the beginning of the fireworks show but the cart moved away and I wasn’t going to track it down. Besides that thing would have been impossible during the fireworks. It was kind of impossible anyway! My goodness… First of all, it was a $14 balloon and we got two! Second, it is HUGE. I don’t exactly have a big dog, but she isn’t tiny either and these balloons are easily bigger than my dog. You get your money’s worth. Oh, and they also have LED light wands inside. So, at the very least, once they deflate we have some cool LED thing. yay!

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Disneyland for us was absolutely fantastic. The kids still talk about it so I know it was a good choice. My two regrets are the fact that the Peter Pan ride always had such a long wait we never did get a chance to ride that. It is one of my very favorite rides and I think the kids would have loved it. The second is that we didn’t get a chance to ride the monorail. I never looked closely enough to see where it went or stopped and we just ran out of time by the time we could maybe hop on. If those are my only regrets, I can live with it and say we had a happy time. The kids both got to meet their Disney favorites in a way that suited them and made it really special. We got to go on some rides, but didn’t have to worry about rushing around to get to one or wait absolutely forever just for rides. Some would say they are borderline too young to go because they wont remember it. I used to have that mentality as well but now I know that sometimes things are impressionable enough they might surprise you and it is worth it regardless. If now is the time that everything is magical and you can capture even a thread of that on film or camera it is just so worth it.

We were lucky and had a great day with very minimal fussing or tantrums and got a lot accomplished to make it feel “worth while”. It really was the happiest place on earth!

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DISNEYLAND: part 4- the princesses and the park

Jumping right in here.. After our little princess was ready to go we went outside to the Fantasy Fare to meet whatever princesses we could find! There was a line right outside and we thought it was the official ‘meet the princesses’ line. Nope! It was kind of a bonus princess meeting place. We were waiting in line for Belle but after a minute the princess assistant came through the line and said there would be a princess change in another 4 minutes. Cool beans. It was almost too bad because we were next in line when they changed out… behind one other girl. So that girl kind of essentially got to meet both, but didnt get to get a picture with Belle. I thought that was a bummer. I mean, she was there! Anyway the princess that took over was Merida so Lilly was BEYOND excited. She lit up! She had nothing but huge grins and hugs for Merida and even made a point to tell her that she was a big fan.

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After a good visit with Merida we got in the pretty short line for the princesses in the meet the princess line. We got to meet Cinderella, Ariel, and Snow White. I will admit they do a fantastic job of hiring the ladies to fill these shoes. They stay in character so well that Ariel was all excited and asking a bunch of questions and poor Snow White had the really REALLY high pitched voice just like in the movie. I could not do that all day. Lilly was so happy to meet them.

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One of the things that was really magical about Disney is that everyone treated Lilly and Edison in such a special way. Not that they need that to boost their little ego’s but it was fun to add to the experience. For example, Lilly was in her dress and all done up from the boutique and everyone just went ahead and referred to her as Elsa. They had a lot of fun with it too. She got asked if she had her powers under control (ummm.. didn’t she at the end of the movie?). The guys opening the door to the princesses had her touch his hand so of course he froze since she was Elsa without her gloves on. Another person asked something dealing with the weather to which we were able to proudly reply that YES actually our winter was pretty rough and FROZEN with the sub zero temps.

Okay, I’m rambling. Anyway… after princesses we made our way to Frontierland/ New Orleans Square so we could do the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and I could do the Haunted Mansion. Pirates of the Caribbean had about a 20 minute wait sign but I doubt if it actually took that long. I have not been on that ride for a very long time so I forgot what it was like to be honest. I remembered the drop though so I made sure to tell Paco to really hold on tight to Lilly. She hated it. Most of it. She wanted to get off the boat. Edison was hanging in there but made sure I had my arm wrapped around him and my finger to hold onto. It wasn’t until the lightning storm and skeletons that Edison started trembling and looking nervous. Once we got in a little further and the pirates were waving to him he started waving back to them. He even admitted that he liked it. Lilly still talks about the fact that she hates it. I had a wonderful time in the Haunted Mansion. I thought about having Lilly go, but after pirates I knew that was out. Then I went in and within the first couple of minutes when the skeleton is hanging from the ceiling I knew for sure that was out. It is one of my favorites though so I had to make sure I went ahead. Plus, the line had absolutely no wait whatsoever!

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Right after I got off that ride we hopped in line to meet Princess Tiana because she just happened to show up right directly behind where Paco and the kids were waiting for me just before I came out the door! Score for meeting another princess out and about! For the longest time Lilly has wanted an umbrella. She has asked for one almost everyday because they have them at the zoo. She asked for one back at around Mother’s Day at home. So FINALLY we went ahead and got the kid a parasol in New Orleans Square because they had a street vendor person decorating them. It is a beautiful little parasol and has Lilly’s name and some hearts and flowers drawn on it. I like it way better than any cheap umbrella we could grab at the zoo!

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We knew we needed to plan our day around getting in line for Elsa and Anna (which at one point when we checked was a 3 hour wait). We decided to run over to get lunch in TomorrowLand but on the way stopped at the Dumbo ride. Because it’s the Dumb ride, duh! The only bummer is that this time the line must have seemed like it took longer because even though it was still only a 20 minute wait, Edison was NOT having it. Really, it was the only ride he was questionable in for behavior so I will take that as a huge win! “lunch” at 3:30pm wasn’t too bad but it was still crazy overpriced. At least it was filling. At this point we had to hurry back to Fantasy Land to get in line for Elsa and Anna. I wish we could have done more in Tomorrow land, but meeting the people and just experiencing Disney was the main fare on the kids agenda so as long as they were happy we were good to go.

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Luckily the line was down to about an hour and 40 minute way! No joke. And we definitely waited in it! We were fortunate enough to be in line behind some really fun folks who had a little girl celebrating her 3rd birthday. The wonderful thing about Lilly is that she is friend to all. She quickly attached herself to this girl and they had a great time interacting in the line. I don’t know the kids usual temperament but I would imagine the parents were happy for her to be so distracted/ entertained while they waited. They must have liked us well enough because they were sweet enough to give us one of their juice boxes! Paco and Edison wandered around the park, went on the carousel a couple ore times and just hung out. Edison was really good the whole time for that and I think Paco probably enjoyed the opportunity to sit.

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Elsa and Anna were perfect. If you are going to wait forever then at least you leave knowing you got a really great visit. I mean visit! There was nothing about it that made you feel rushed or like you had to keep moving so the next people could hurry in and get their pictures. Of course, if it was a little more like that then the line wouldnt be as long. Still, once again, the look on Lilly’s face was absolutely priceless and the girls stayed in character so perfectly. They pointed out that Lilly had a color of hair (teal) so Anna said a troll must have kissed her and Elsa said that she pulled the northern lights down from the sky and put them in her hair. Just so much fun! I don’t think it will be something Lilly soon forgets which makes me so happy. The things we do for our kids… waiting in line for almost to hours to get a picture and an autograph :)

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After Elsa and Anna we walked over to Critter Corner in the hopes of meeting Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore but they had apparently already packed up for the night and weren’t standing out anymore. Lilly was sad, Edison would have loved it, but that is the price you pay I guess. We also could have met Rapunzel and Flynn Rider if we hadn’t waited in the line!

By this time it was edging on 7pm so we knew we wanted to hit up a couple last major things before we went and parked it to find a good spot for fireworks. It’s a Small World is clearly one of those “must do Disney rides”. The wait was short, the kids were good, and It’s a Small World was wonderful. The kids both loved it. You could tell Edison was just taking it ALL in. I had the song stuck in my head for the better part of the evening (and now thanks to this it is stuck in my head again…). We also stopped at Pixie Hollow even though Tinker Bell was prepping for her fireworks show spotlight but they had fun on the huge mushrooms and flowers. With an hour and a half to wait still for fireworks Lilly and I went to a few of the main street shops and then Paco went and got some ice cream for all of us.

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Tomorrow is my LAST Disney post. Who would have thought you could fill 5 days of blog posts on ONE day at Disney. Imagine if I ever go to Disney World O_o  Hope you have enjoyed it regardless even if it has gotten a little long winded and mundane :)

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DISNEYLAND: part 3- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!

Lilly is 6.5 years old going on 15. It is because of this that I wanted to really do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique because she still enjoys the whole princess thing a lot right now. When we got back to the park from breakfast we had around 2.5 hours to burn because I wanted to leave enough time to not only get to the appointment but also to change into the Elsa dress I made for her. I spent plenty of money on the fabric for that dress (not to mention the blood sweat and tears!) but I wasn’t about to pay $65 for one of their dresses.

When we first got to Toon Town they had lots of cute card you could sit in so we did that and then Goofy was right across the street at his house so we went to get his autograph and picture. This was the only photopass person that could have had a little more experience with the while idea of taking pictures. Edison’s head just barely makes it in the photo. At least he looks pleasant I guess. The kids decided that even though they had just met Mickey and Minnie they wanted to see their houses. First we went on the Gadget Go Coaster because both of the kids met the height requirement (35″). I turned around at one point and saw that Edison was all laughs and loving the little roller coaster. Lilly had a great time too. Then we got off the ride. Lilly started crying because she bumped her head during one of the jerkier parts and either Edison pushed into the safety bar or he was unprepared to process the stomach tickling sensation because he just started clenching his stomach and crying. It was pretty clear that at 10:30am roller coasters were out for the day.

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Mickey and Minnie’s house were fun enough. We though it was odd that Mickey had such a shorter wait than Minnie… until we got to finally meet Minnie. My goodness she was taking forever with some kids. I honestly don’t mind a lot, but as a parent you should reel your kid in and realize there are plenty of other children waiting that want to meet the mouse!  I did get a SUPER cute picture of Edison giving Minnie a kiss, so at least there is that. Edison perked up a bit, he had been crying and whining about his stomach since getting off of the coaster, and was happy to run around the rest of toon town looking at the fun quirky fixtures.

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At noon it was finally time to get Lilly all done up. We changed in the bathroom after a little frustration. She didn’t want to wear the dress. WHAT!!?!?!? Honestly, I drafted the darn thing from scratch because at the time there was no pattern available for it! I convinced her this was the option and she grudgingly accepted her fate. It didn’t take too long to get over it once she was called up by her fairy God Mother- in training to choose her hair style.

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I just cannot say enough praises about the whole experience. Not only did they treat Lilly like she was the only princess in that busy tiny little boutique, but as her family we were her royal court and therefore treated with the same care and attention. We had our own bench to sit and wait and when someone else sat on it since I was standing to take a picture Lilly’s Fairy God Mother quickly told him he was not to sit there as it was for Lilly’s court. They were also amazing with Edison. They distracted him by playing and reading stories to him and just not minding when he was antsy and not sitting still. SO happy.

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Included in her princess package (the cheapest- Coach- package for $55) was: choice of hair style, tiara, princess sash, princess cinch sack, makeup (she got to keep the little pallet used), face gem (she got to keep the sheet that had the other 6 gem designs), pink rhinestone Mickey hair clip, and the combs used to do her hair. Also, don’t forget, the royal treatment. It was AMAZING. I couldn’t be happier with that choice and Lilly was able to get 3 days out of that hairstyle because of how much hairspray was used! Oh yes, and I did have to utilize a lot of restraint from buying the green ball gown Anna wears in Frozen. I love that dress!

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Okay, Disney is probably getting boring at this point but only two more posts on it, I promise!  Next up The Princesses and the Park. Then fireworks and our Disney Wrap up! Thanks for bearing with me through all my wordy over-excited Disney posts!

 

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DISNEYLAND: part 2- Character Breakfast at the PCH Grill

As I said in yesterday’s post we made a reservation for a character dining breakfast. When looking at google maps I got a little concerned about the location of the hotel compared to the parking lot and the entrance to the park. I didn’t want to waste time by not going in the park, but it wouldn’t have made much sense to go in for 5 minutes just to turn around and leave for breakfast. Luckily once we got there it was proved that appearances can be deceiving and everything was a lot closer than it looks on a map. Im very bad at judging distances on maps or.. you know.. reading them in general apparently.

We got our stamps so we could re-enter the park easily and it was really funny because the lady doing the stamps started telling Lilly how she would probably recognize the stamp easily. I was kind of confused, as was Lilly, but she got the glow light out and shower Lilly what her hand looked like under it. The stamp said Lillian. Now, being the dumb gullible (and still fully believing in magic) person that I am wondered HOW they could possibly have done such an amazing trick. Yes. Well.. the trick is that Walt Disney’s wife’s name was Lillian. It was still fun for Lilly even if it was soul crushing for me that such magical wonders didn’t exist.

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I think we got to our 9:10 reservation at least 10 minutes early but that didn’t seem to be a problem because they called us to be seated within about 1 minute of checking in. They told us that first we would wrap around the wall to the right to say a special good morning to a very special friend and familiar face… MICKEY the mouse himself! Now, I wish I had been in front of Edison or more prepared or had the video camera running. Edison’s face was the most priceless thing I have ever seen and hope I don’t soon forget that joy he so clearly expressed. He actually stopped in his tracks and had to process who he was seeing. Then he got the absolute BIGGEST grin on his face and quickly ran up to give him a hug while saying “Mickey!!!”. Tear. He made a point to show Mickey his little Mickey and then I didn’t pay enough attention to remove it while taking a picture. sheesh. It’s okay because it is still cute and we got some good pictures despite having most of them with Mickey on Mickey’s nose.

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After we left Mickey we saw Stitch on the way to our table. Edison and Lilly both really are pro’s at this whole “big potentially scary person thing 4 times their size” walking around. They had big grins and lots of hugs for all of the characters. By the time we sat down I wondered if we were going to get to eat our breakfast because there were just so many favorites walking around distracting us. It was a good kind of distraction though. Drink orders got taken and Paco went to grab a plate for himself and Edison. More friends were in the area so Lilly and I made sure they weren’t going to try to stop by while we were at the buffet before heading up to get our food.

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The options were acceptable. A little better than your average breakfast buffet, but the quality was nothing super exceptional. I’m fairly certain I have had just as good of a breakfast pizza at our local casey’s gas station. (this is no disrespect.. seriously, they have good pizza…). There were omelets made to order, eggs, Mickey shaped waffles, much more hot stuff and all the cold fixin’s you could imagine too! We did have to ask for one thing to make Edison happy. Peanut Butter. The kid lives for it and as much as I try to limit it, he just can’t get enough. So we asked for peanut utter so he could put it on his pancakes. He doesn’t really like syrup. He ate that for a while then just dug straight in to the peanut butter bowl. Eh, it’s protein right?

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Honestly we decided to take our time and enjoy the breakfast. We knew it was going to be a long day in the park and with Minnie, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Stitch, and Mickey walking around who would want to up and leave anyway!

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We finished up out plates and made sure we got to see everyone the restaurant had to offer and decided that before the kids got restless we should go ahead and make our way back to the park. That is, after the bill: $96.85. The sad thing is that doesn’t even include Edison. He was free after all for being “2”. It is a lot. Really… a lot. But we got a lot of extra time with Mickey in a much more casual atmosphere. The other characters sought us out instead of us having to wait in hot lines for a quick photo op. All in all I would pay it again in a heartbeat. Maybe next time we go to a Disney resort we can do the princess lunch instead :) OR princess lunch and character dinner. A girl can dream.

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So I mentioned that this was Edison’s super special thing for the day. Tomorrow I will post about our time in Toon Town and then Lilly’s very special thing for the day: The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!

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DISNEYLAND: part 1

Well, I have been BUSY and not really even around since last Thursday so that is one excuse for not updating. The other is that I have been trying to decide how best to lay out all the posts! I was going to go ahead with chronological but that would just be boring. So I am going to skip our Thursday trip to the Safari park for now and start with the super exciting stuff: DISNEYLAND! Now, I still have to do it in stages but just know that after all the Disney stuff I’ll back track to the Safari park, woo!

Originally when we found out we were all coming out to San Diego I thought that we would hit up Sea World and Legoland since they are both IN San Diego. Then I got to thinking about it and realized that legos are probably going to be a really important part of our family for YEARS to come whereas the Mickey and Princess years have a timestamp on them. With that in mind I went ahead and started planning for Disneyland since it is only an hour and a half north. Best. Decision. EVER. We didn’t dare tell the kids we were going to make the trip. Actually, I straight out told Lilly we were NOT going to Disneyland because it just costs too much and is too far away. muahahaha.

The morning of the trip we woke up at 4:30A.M., made sure everything was in order for our day, woke the kids, and headed out the door. It wasn’t until we were about 45 minutes into the drive that I got the video camera out and told them where we were going. I will eventually get that video uploaded and add it in somewhere, but I am in the process of uploading 117 pictures so I think the video can hold. Lilly quite literally ‘squeed’ and I think said ‘oh my gosh’ a couple of times. Edison repeated Mickey a few times. As was assumed, Lilly asked a few times throughout the trip if we were there yet. This is why I waited until we were in the car.

The unsuspecting (and tired) children:

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One of the things I decided needed to happen as I was doing some research was a character meal. A few weeks ago I looked into the various options, compared prices, locations, and actual characters at the restaurant and settled on The PCH Grill in the Paradise Pier Hotel and made a 9:10 am reservation for breakfast. The main reason for this choice is the guaranteed Mickey visit. This was a must! Not that we weren’t going to go to his house in Toon Town anyway, but to get just that little extra personal time was so important for Edison. This, I decided, was his very special thing for the trip. It was also SO WORTH IT. I honestly couldn’t find prices for the meals anywhere in my research. The disney website says $14.99-$59.99 for adult prices so I stupidly assumed we could get away with breakfast for close to $14.99 each. Not the way it works folks… After doing some more research and looking at yelp the day before our trip I found out the adult price for the buffet was around $30 per person and kids 3-9 was $16 plus 15% gratuity and tax. Eeep! Again, worth it, but still a lot to swallow! I will point out kids 0-2 are free. (They also have free admission to the parks… yes, Edison was 2.5 and not 3.5 for this excursion.) Call me a terrible person if you must but my near 4 year old weighs 26 pounds and is 37″ tall. He hardly fits the bill for most kids his age. I am actually pretty sure most 2.5 year olds can take him on both height and weight!

I digress. We definitely over estimated traffic and other travel times and got to Disney at 7:10. That’s okay, it just meant we got an awesome parking spot. AND the park totally let us in early at 7:40. Rock! The best thing about this is that there was hardly anyone else inside yet so we got some fantastic pictures in front of the castle with next to no one in the background shots. That was most definitely not the case even an hour later so major score there! We went into sleeping Beauty’s castle (always my favorite movie growing up) and got to see all of the story book pages and fun depictions of the movie throughout. With time to kill still before heading over to breakfast we tried to pull the sword form the stone and did a carousel ride. Oh, we also had to buy the obligatory embroidered Mickey ear hats and autograph books. Lilly wanted the really fancy ones, but I said we were going 100% traditional and getting the normal ones. I cant say we did the same thing when Paco and I went to Disney world for our honeymoon.. but that was our honeymoon we HAD to get the bride and groom ear hats!

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Both Lilly and Edison were just in absolute awe of the park right from the get go and you could tell we were in for a magical day. Come back tomorrow for my post on our character breakfast!

 

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C is for Cookie…

That’s good enough for me!

As I said yesterday, I didn’t have any plans and I think the mental overdrive I have had just put me in a spot where I couldn’t come up with something super exciting. Seriously, my kids are going to go into shock when we get home and aren’t out and about DOING something every day. Today was good for them just for that reason. It is hard because we don’t have our backyard to run around, as I believe I have mentioned before, but they do a decent job of using their imaginations to get by. For example, in the early afternoon they got the IKEA paper roll I had purchased on arrival and just rolled it out across the entire length of the living room floor and drew on it. Then they proceeded to either use it as a runway or a cape or … hmm… I cant remember the other thing. There was something else though.

I’m going backwards in my day here… anyway, before that we baked cookies! I sent a bunch of staple food items out with Paco when he drove and realized that with just 3 weeks left, one of which we will be gone, we should start using some of these things up to avoid having leftovers. Cookies was the clear winner since we need to use up that sugar and flour somehow! I should buy some yeast and bake some rolls or buns or something. The kids loved baking cookies. We haven’t done a lot of baking for a while because I just don’t need (or really want) it sitting around the house to eat. I would like to report that I have only had one… and maybe 3 in the form of raw dough… it is my weakness, shush! They turned out perfect, the kids got a math lesson with the measuring, and we have some tasty treats :) Oh and as you will notice in the pictures, we spilled some flour so of course Lilly decides to eat it. I have strange kids.

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I spent enough of the day researching various things. I really want to take advantage of being in a fun place like this so I was searching for the ‘absolute musts’. Here is my list so far.

To Do:

Padres game

Point Loma, Seaport Village, San Diego Bay/ harbor (preferably at dusk for this one)

The USS Midway

La Jolla COVE & the other end for the pier (these would both be AMAZING to photograph)

The Fashion Mall

Little Italy

Coronado beach

Sea World

Del Mar Horse track Family fun day

Blaboa Park

The things we have already done:

La Jolla beach

Pacific Beach Fish Shop

Zoo

Old Town San Diego

I just feel like we have done more. Which is good I guess. But there is so much more I want to see and do! This weekend we knock out Disney and whatever we can find on the way home. Sunday we are going about an hour away to get a new wet plate photo taken by those people from Old Town on the 4th. They said of all the prints they took that day ours went black in the rinse stage and was ruined. Such a bummer. They felt badly and really want to take one for us. It is so nice and such a thoughtful thing. Next week I think we will take a day and do all the museums at Balboa park and next weekend is Sea World, Point Loma & the bay, and the del mar horse track. Then we are in Tucson. Then the last week there is a Padres game I figure we can make it to and hope to manage some of the other stuff over the weekend of the 25th. I will have to make Paco take a day off work that week just so we can manage!

I am also SO pumped for next Thursday because someone I met in my online craft group is going to take professional family photos for us on a beach! I am beyond thrilled because she does beautiful and amazing work AND we have never had a professional photo taken since Edison was born. How sad is that? We are terrible parents. I take plenty of photos, believe me, but only one pro photo with Lilly at age one and then none since. It’s amazing how when you are always the one behind the camera you forget to make a point to get them taken.

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just another day

I definitely feel as though I have started writing about the same things over and over again. BUT I guess that’s where we sit! We went to the zoo again today and did the Discovery outpost section. Not my favorite. It would have helped if the playground set wasn’t right inside going down to the petting zoo. Once my kid gets on that it is the only thing we will be doing for at least an hour. Everyone got an earful when I wrenched him off. Then the petting zoo was all of a goat and a rabbit. The reptile house was hard to see from the stroller and yes, I did get Edison out a lot for it, but he wanted to sit in it too (at that point) so it is just a hassle. Anyway, next week we will do the Tiger Trail and probably see the Panda’s again. The season zoo passes have officially paid for themselves now which is cool and Thursday afternoon we are going to use them for the Safari Park!

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I can definitely see how having a pool here with constant access is going to prove a bad thing when we get home and still have the hottest part of summer left. I am really happy with the fact that both of the kids are getting a lot better at swimming. I still need to get both in swimming lessons but I have a lot more confidence they wont completely freak out once they do start them.

We went to Pacific Beach Fish Shop again tonight for dinner. Yes, it definitely adds up for price but, hey, we are here so why not enjoy things like that while we can. In Iowa I don’t get fresh fish. It is impossible being land locked. If I wanted to pay A LOT to have it flown i fresh, sure, I could get fresh fish. But I can’t so I don’t.

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That is about all I have to report. Pretty boring today! Tomorrow I dont have any solid plans either so I might try to get in touch with some friends I met online and have yet to meet in person. I also need to do some major research on Disneyland and LA for our weekend trip!

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